Austria seeks to end EU accession talks with Turkey

12 Sep 2023

Austria is looking to bring a formal end to accession talks with Turkey as full membership to the EU would not be “conceivable for us,” said Chancellor Karl Nehammer.

Although the Chancellor said Turkey would still be an important partner on an international level, there would be no possibility of Ankara joining the bloc.

“It is important that we deal honestly with each other, and this also includes formally ending the accession negotiations that have been frozen for years and developing a new concept for neighbourly cooperation,” Nehammer stated.

“We are in favour of further rapprochement between Ankara and Brussels, but full membership of Turkey in the EU is not conceivable for us,” he added.

Nehammer went on to say that he will meet with Turkish President Erdogan “in the near future,” Euractiv reports.

Negotiations between Turkey and the EU have been ongoing for 18 years but have stalled over the past few years as Erdogan tightened his grip on power after the 2018 presidential elections.

Nevertheless, Turkey has recently reinstated its bid to join the EU, with foreign minister Hakan Fidan saying that “the European Union cannot be a truly global actor without Turkey.”

“It is vital that the path to Turkey’s EU membership is cleared and the perspective for membership is revitalised,” he went on to say after a meeting with EU’s Neighbourhood Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi.

The Commissioner also said that fresh talks on Turkey’s accession may arise if Ankara put forward a “credible roadmap” regarding reforms “related to democracy and the rule of law.”

That said, opening a new EU accession chapter requires unanimity from EU member states, and Austria could, therefore, reject a decision.